Rosie Project Series

I have just read the latest book in the series; the third called the Rosie result. The books centre around Don who possibly has undiagnosed autism and Rosie. The first book is about him trying to find a partner as there is two more books in the series it is no spoiler to say he ends up with Rosie, I recommend reading how as it is funny and there are twists and turns. In the second book they have a son called Hudson. The third book jumps forward 10years or so to Hudson being 11.

Hudson has problems at school, school want him tested for autism. Don has never being tested for autism. Testing for autism was not done (or least not widely) 30 years ago. Therefore I think there is a generation of 30 / 40 / 50 year olds in the workplace; that today would have been diagnosed with autism. How would a diagnosis of autism have affected those diagnosed would they be doing better jobs, be happier … Or would their creativity have been quelled, their potential stifled by being labelled autistic and therefore expectations of them lowered? These are the dilemmas Rosie and Don face trying to decide whether to have Hudson tested. If autism is a spectrum to what extent is Hudson just a typical child?

The book is thought provoking, in terms of autism and also the expectations of Mother’s in work place verses Fathers.

I look forward to the next instalment in the Rosie series.

World Autism Awareness Day: Is Sheldon from Big Bang meant to represent an autistic character?

Apparently not according to writers. Although lots of people see autistic traits, in him. Whatever, the truth it has created discussion. Is this evidence that Autism may be a combination of different conditions. Or does it show how conditions may be misdiagnosed as autism and vice versa.

Do you watch Big Bang?

Do you think Sheldon is autistic?

Autism Awareness 2018 in Sheffield this week

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awarness day. I believe autism may be a spectrum which most or all people are on, or it may be a combination of conditions such as ADHD or learning disabilities or  mental health conditions.

Autism awareness in Sheffield

The following shops in Meadowhall on 7th April 8-9am will be having an autism friendly hour by reducing sensory load by dimming lights and music.

Primark, Next,M&S, Debenhams, Charles Clinkard,Disney Store, Starbucks Arcade, Telefonica UK Limited, ll Gusto, Molton Brown, Joe Browns, The Perfume Shop, Menkind, Holland and Barrett,Lush, Mc Donald’s, Game, Jessops, Paperchase.

3rd May  the film Aspergers are us, is being shown at

57-59 Club Garden Road
S11 8BU Sheffield
United Kingdom

Autism in Culture

I have read and seen the play Curious Dog in the Night.

Top theatrical performances 2015 and 2016

I have read A Boy Made of Blocks

A boy made of blocks by Keith Stuart No Spoilers

I have watched the film An Animated life.

Animated Life : Autism and Disney film discussion. 

A boy made of blocks by Keith Stuart No Spoilers

A Nick Hornby style book. The themes of the book are around the trial separation of the parents of an autistic boy and connecting with the boy via the video game minecraft. A potentiality gritty story , especially as author’s son has autism however, it never goes that deep or heavy. Instead although presenting struggles,  it goes with a lighthearted, heartwarming, positive angle. The plot is simplistic and at one point I was not sure always flawless for example; when talks about deciding on a fancy dress outfit in a morning, but having a mask for the outfit bought online by the same afternoon. Overall a very readable  page turner, when not wanting anything too heavy.

Animated Life : Autism and Disney film discussion. 

This film was the true story of how a boy with Asperger learned to talk by watching Disney films.  I was able to listen to some discussion after but not stay long enough to hear it all or contribute myself.

It was voiced that,  it may be problematic for an adult to be, so attached to Disney films. However, seeing people’s excitement about the recent  release of Beuaty and the Beast, it seems that plenty of adults are very into Disney. Animated Life film showed that Disney films deal with a variety of themes for example, losing parents and growing up in Lion King, caring for others and right from wrong. The films formed a spring board for learning. However, learning from Disney films has it’s downsides. Firstly, Disney films endings are very standardised fairy tale endings, which, are not typical in real life as the subject of Animated Life discovers. Secondarily Disney films do not offer a starting point to discussing sex with your autistic brother; as the subject’s brother realises. In this case the subject has gained independence; the Disney films can be seen as a tool along the way, but also the subject was lucky with the other support they received. Therefore, an obsession with Disney films seems better than not being able to communicate and have any independence.

There was criticism of the film for giving false hope to parents; that watching Disney films was a magic cure and the film made it look too easy. I think, it did not take much reading amongst the lines to know it was not just as simple as watching a film, there was a lot of extra effort involved. I think any parent regardless of whether their child had autism, would realise there were tough times. What might be harder for parents of autistic children, to come to terms with, is not that some children may be destined to always have limited communication; no matter how much effort is put in. 

An audience member, gave some bleaker facts about autism and talked about autism increasing  sucide risk ( to illustrate that it is not the same for everyone. Considering, I believe that some people can be within autism spectrum, but not diagnosed then statistics are based upon those worse affected skewing the findings. 

Thomas tank engine has also been found to help those with autism. Perhaps because both Thomas tank and Disney films are animated that means facial expressions (the trains have large faces) are clearer defined than they may be in real life people.

Some felt uncomfortable with autistic children being closely observed by parents looking for their child’s Disney film / Thomas tank equivalent , I think it is good for all parents, not just parents of autistic children, to expose children to a range of different narratives be that films, tv programmed or books then see whst their child takes an interest in and use that as a basis of learning. For example, can watch or read proactively and use it as a basis for learning colours or numbers. 

In summary it was a fascinating film but I’m treating it as one example and not a model for all autistic people.

Autism Awareness Sheffield

It is coming to end of Autism awareness week to mark this event shops in Sheffield town are opening from 8am tomorrow Saturday to allow some quiet time with dimmed lights and low or no music for those with autism. Virgin money have a chill out space for anyone overwhelmed. See blog below for further details / or the Sparkle website. Sparkle is a charity and their website outlines support offers therefore, worth looking if needed.

Sheffield shops open early Saturday April 1st for Autism

Sparkle in collaboration with The Autism Centre’s Stephen Connolly have been working with Sheffield shops to encourage them to open early on Saturday April 1st for World Autism Awareness Week. A number of shops have agreed to become more autism friendly. More information at

Autism Debate 

I do not have Twitter. But attended a lecture from Nick Hughes last week about autism. I see autism as a spectrum. Perhaps we are all on the spectrum. I think I’am and that is just part of me like the colour of me eyes or having asthma. Having asthma presents limitations, but as mine is mild then with medication it is not really a problem. Similarly mild autism can be lived with. Whereas, some people with autism may need more support so that the autism does not limit them reaching their potential.

Autism twitter chat. March 21st 6-7pm